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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 12, 2007 9:10 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
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Swell Potential Rating = 0.5 - California & 0.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)
Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 7/9 thru Sun 7/15
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Utility swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of Utility swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Weak Swell Pushes Towards Hawaii
Possible Activity in the South Pacific Longterm

 

Notice: This is the last update till 7/22. We'll be out trying to find some surf. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Thursday (7/12) Northern CA surf was waist high with luck. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was flat. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat even at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to thigh high at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were maybe waist high with luck. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was barely thigh high on the sets. The East Shore report was not available.

North/Central California was essentially flat with no swell of interest occurring. Southern California was near flat with no swell occurring. Hawaii was flat on the North and South Shores with minimal local windswell on the East Shore. The North Pacific remains in hibernation and the South Pacific is not doing much better. There's some hope for Hawaii early next week courtesy of a pair of gales that produced minimal southern hemi utility swell pushing northeast off New Zealand. Seas on these were only up to 25 ft though. Next to nothing expected for California from these due to swell decay over the long journey northeast. No windswell is in the forecast for either Hawaii or the mainland either. The Southeast Pacific is supposed to wake up early next week possibly sending swell energy primarily towards California and Central America a week beyond, but that's far from certain at this early date. See details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Thursdays jetstream charts (7/12) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest with a weak flow tracking east from Japan relatively straight towards southern British Columbia, with a little ridge pushing it north right before hitting the coast. Winds did not exceed 100 kts and there was no suggestion of interesting low pressure indicated. Over the next 72 hours energy levels are to hold with 2 weak troughs carving out just west of the dateline and in the Gulf of Alaska by Saturday (7/14) with winds reaching maybe 120 kts in the Gulf trough. Maybe some weak support for low pressure to develop at the oceans surface, but nothing that would produce surf. Beyond 72 hours the dateline trough is to fade out and the Gulf trough is to push inland by Wednesday (7/18) leaving an anemic flow pushing over the Aleutians west to east and providing no support for low pressure development at the oceans surface.

At the surface today weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was positioned 400 nmiles north of Hawaii driving a weak to moderate tradewind flow over the Islands and providing minimal easterly windswell. Otherwise no winds greater than 15 kts were being experienced over the Northeast Pacific. Super Typhoon Man-Yi was northeast of the Philippines and south of Southern Japan, well outside our forecast area. In short, no swell production potential was obvious. Over the next 72 hrs the high pressure system north of Hawaii is to fade then regenerate some Sunday (7/15) maybe helping to produce a days worth of easterly windswell, but nothing more. An unusually light wind pattern is to hold off the US mainland providing no support for local windswell generation. Most quiet indeed.

 

Tropics
Super Typhoon Man-Yi was positioned about 600 nmiles due south of Southern Korea with winds 135 kts and heading just west of due north at 14 kts. Seas were 40 ft pushing north. A slow decline in strength while holding a steady track to the north is expected Friday, the turning more northeast. landfall is expected over southern more Japan early Saturday with sustained winds 105 kts, and then a rapid decline in strength forecast thereafter. Still a steady track to the northeast is forecast as the storm rakes the south to central parts of Japan with the remnants of this storm pushing free and clear into the North Pacific mid-Sunday (7/15) with winds down to 60 kts. The models suggest a continued decline in strength as Man-Yi pushes northeast from there.

A series of tropical systems previous forecast south of Cabo San Lucas this coming weekend have faded from the charts.

 

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (7/12) a neutral pressure pattern was in effect near shore with low pressure circulating 500 nmiles west of Bodega Bay. no wind of interest was blowing over nearshore California waters and no windswell of interest was in-play. No change is forecast through Friday, then high pressure is to try and get a nose into our area mainly helping to generate northwest winds at 25 kts limited to the Pt Conception area Saturday, holding there unchanged into mid-next week. The net effect is to be good sailing weather outside the Channel Islands if you like moving fast and to the south, but nothing from a surfing perspective.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Thursdays jetstream charts (7/12) for the South Pacific indicated a split flow with two separate streams pushing parallel west to east. The southern branch was weaker but pushing hard into the Ross Ice Shelf and Antarctica virtually eliminating any chance for gale development in the South Pacific. A very weak trough was trying to organize south of Tahiti, but it was way to early for anything to be resulting at the oceans surface. The northern branch of the jet was flowing almost to the southeast, not helping the situation at all. No support for surface level low pressure was suggested. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (7/15) a persistent southward flow of energy is forecast over the extreme Southeastern Pacific, but the trough currently south of New Zealand is to get a bit better organized making a little northward progress with winds near 130 kts pushing up into it. Some support for low pressure development there. Beyond 72 hours the New Zealand trough is to build a little in size though not strength while drifting to the east and at least helping to clear out the highly inhospitable environment that has held control of the Southeastern Pacific for a while now. The net result is to be a better environment for surface level low pressure development in the Central Pacific by Tuesday (7/17) perhaps building eastward later in the workweek.

At the surface today high pressure had control of the far Southeastern Pacific off Chile, but a broad weak low pressure system was circulating southeast of New Zealand. It was producing a small fetch of 30 kt winds aimed north towards Hawaii generating 20 ft seas, but a long ways away and far from interesting. Nothing else of interest was occurring. Over the next 72 hours new low pressure is to develop well south of Tahiti sinking southeast generating 40 kt winds but all aimed either east or south towards Chile. No swell producing fetch for our forecast area expected.

 

On Sunday (7/8) Hawaii had the tiniest hope for swell generation with a small low pressure system at 980 mbs trying to organize east of New Zealand at 50S 150W. It held for 24 hours with 40 kt winds and 27 ft seas at 47S 155W aimed due north towards Hawaii. This ought to be good for a little pulse of small utility class swell for Hawaii arriving late late Sunday (7/15) peaking Monday at 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3 ft faces) barely holding into Tuesday (7/16). Rideable but nothing more. None of this expected to reach the mainland.

On Tuesday (7/10) a broad but weak gale with pressure 972 mbs was circulating well south of Hawaii, producing confirmed winds of 40 kts aimed well to the north and starting to generate 23 ft seas at 47S 167W targeting Hawaii. This area faded with winds dropping to 30 kts Wednesday AM and seas 25 ft range near 40-44S 155-162W. The net effect is likely minimal utility class swell for Hawaii arriving Wednesday (7/18) with swell 2.7 ft @ 14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) from 183 degrees. Nothing of interest forecast to result for California.

 

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest high pressure to continuing in the 1024 mb range north of Hawaii drifting northeast, loosing it's grip on tradewind production there but not making any impact into the coast of the mainland either. Weak low pressure is to be moving over the top of the high into the extreme north Gulf of Alaska, but no swell production to result. The remnants of Typhoon Man-Yi are to try and push east off Northern Japan but are to be moving slowly as the storm start decaying. no indication it will survive intact to the dateline at this time. In short, no swell producing fetch or windswell generation potential is noted.

MJO Moves to Active Phase: The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) appears has moved into the active phase. Given that La Nina is supposedly taking hold, one would not expect much if anything like this to happen, but it is. The Southern Oscillation Index dropped into the negative range starting June 27 and continued strongly negative today (-9), but not as strong as days past. Still the 30 day average remained negative (-6) and the 90 day average was too (-1.4). Cooler than average waters are still present over the eastern equator waters of the Pacific, but not as strong as in weeks past or even as cool as a week ago. And trade winds over the equatorial Western Pacific have reversed direction, now blowing firmly west to east. In fact a Westerly Wind Burst appears to be setting up off the Philippines, attributable solely to Typhoon Man-Yi positioned well to the south there. But a much broader through weaker area of westerly winds appears to be taking hold over the equator from there over the dateline pushing to 120W. Most impressive given the state of the Pacific over the past few months. This pattern is expected to hold into late July (7/26). Make no mistake that there is no indication that El Nino is trying to develop (the MJO sometimes helps to jumpstart it), but this does suggest that La Nina may not develop as strong as most of the models suggest, or at least might be delayed it if the MJO continues as modeled. This active phase of the MJO might also help to spur tropical activity in the West Pacific (as it appears it already is), then provide a little fuel for the East Pacific later in it's life cycle (2 weeks from now). And it might help fuel the development of low pressure in the North Pacific. But putting this into perspective, it doesn't guarantee that any swell producing low pressure systems will develop, and in fact they likely won't given the time of year. But what it does suggest that the possibility for low pressure to form is likely to increase some and that La Nina might be held at bay for a while, which isn't a bad thing from a swell production perspective.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate that while the jetstream flow aloft improves, low pressure is to start developing at the oceans surface in the Southeast Pacific starting late Sunday (7/15). Winds to build to 40 kts off the Ross Ice Shelf lifting steadily to the northeast into the 45-50 kts range over a tiny area early Monday. Small bit of follow on fetch to follow along the same track, but for the most part the energy to then turn and dive south towards Antarctica. 35 ft seas are forecast late Sunday at 45S 152W building to 38 ft Monday AM (7/16) 43S 142W pushing to 40S 137W in the evening. A little bit of energy to still be pushing northeast Tuesday AM (7/17) but the bulk of the energy to head south after that. Assuming this all develops as forecast some degree of 17-19 sec period swell would push north towards California and Central America, but that's premature speculation at this time. Follow the models for the latest updates.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

Jackson Browne, Ben Harper and special guests are performing at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on July 29th. Their soulful performances on this date will benefit Boarding House Mentors, an organization that brings the stoke of surfing to inner city youth. More here: www.boardinghousementors.org

New CDIP Buoys Online: We've updated our buoy system to pick up new CDIP buoys put in service recently. One is the Monterey Canyon (inside Monterey Bay). Check it out here: Buoy 156. Also there are more new CDIP buoys activated in NCal, SCal, Pacific Northwest, and Florida.

Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html

Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here: http://www.surfingtravel.com/

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and people that make up the surf community. Check it out here: http://www.thesurfbook.com

New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here: http://www.insidemavericks.com/

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's simple and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet Explorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way!
http://www.google.com/ig/add?moduleurl=http://www.stormsurf.com/gadget/stormsurf .xml

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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